- Books, Literature, and Writing
How To Deal With Writer's Block-My Humble Opinion
I am by no means an expert in this writing business. As I am writing this I wonder if I have enough authority to write about this subject which frankly speaking needs to be left to the experts.
But then again, I write. And as far as writing is concerned I have come across this thing called a Writer's Block. It is a phenomena where all just do not know what to write. Our fingers are there inches away from the keyboard, waiting for our brain to command it. We just cannot figure out what to write.
So being a person who has experienced writer's block and who has successfully unblocked it many times, I feel I can give a few insights that might help you as it did me.
This Can Make Your Mind Sharp
Stop Living On Auto-Pilot Mode
If ever you feel that there is nothing to talk or write about it only means that you are not paying enough attention to your own life. There are so many things happening around you and with you. But you take it all for granted and you are always on Auto pilot.
When someone tells me that I do not know what to say or what to write about I feel it is nonsense. There is Definitely something to write about. If you cannot find anything, you are just no looking hard enough.
One thing I do when I have writer's block is just write down anything that comes down to mind. and when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. all bets are off. you can even type asdlfaldjksasidpcnalk alkdfjasdklcacdklj for now. just start moving your fingers and do something.
That is ok. once you get the juices going and you start writing something coherent and something that make sense you can always go back and edit and make it more presentable. Stop trying to be a perfectionist. You don't have to be perfect. In fact the notion of perfect is ridiculous.
You are gliding through life in auto pilot mode. It is impossible to not have anything to write about. Pay close attention to your daily activity, to the people you interact with, pay close attention to your daily routine. Nothing is mundane. Nothing is boring.
Boredom is a sign that you mind is not sharp enough. You have been going through the same routine every time and so the mind is not stimulated enough. Remember, the first time you drove your car. You were so alive. You paid close attention to everything around you. Every time you hear a car horn you jump. Everything excites you. But as time goes by driving and commute becomes a routine.
I don't mean that you should now totally change your routine and your whole life. But once in a while, try going a different route, or try leaving earlier than usual, try and do something different. If you are right handed, try brushing your teeth in the morning with your left, and do the opposite if you are left handed. You will notice that you now paying more attention. And voila, you now have something to write about. You did something different and you can now share what it is you did and how you felt.
Even if you don't want to do anything different, that is ok. Just pay more attention, anytime you find yourself on auto pilot look around, do your routine more deliberately this time. Even when walking, try and feel the weight and pressure on your feet. if you are driving pay attention to the speed and the acceleration of your car. Start small. When you are in traffic, look around, look at the pedestrians, look at the car beside you. The world is alive, my friend. How can you no have something to write down.
You may ask, "but how much can I write about walking, or about brushing my teeth with my other hand?" You can write about that, if you cannot then that is ok, just keep doing it. Doing this will make your mind more sharp and will practice it into paying more attention to the present moment. Which is very helpful if you are into creative writing and want to express yourself to it.
Everyone has their own voice and their own different ways of expressing themselves through writing. Hemingway expressed his in short proses. He used as few words as possible and he made sure each of those words carried enough weight. Every word meant something. He is not one to use long words and long sentences. Reading Hemingway is really an experience which you cannot get from other authors. There is just something zen in the way he writes.
That kind of style was perfect for Hemingway, but it may not be for you. That does not mean that if you do not write the way Hemingway does it means you are doing it wrong. Find your own voice and develop your writing style gradually you will find the voice and style that suits you.
The only way you can do that is write about something you are good at and are passionate about. Don't write something which you hardly know about. You want to sound smart so you write about science when you have no knowledge about it, so you Google articles about it and take little bit from here and there and then create what is a Frankenstein of an article which you cannot even read one paragraph of.
Never be something you are not. Always try to be your best self, Be original. Yes you may get inspiration from different authors and writers or people from different walks of life. But eventually you will have to be yourself.
Stop Living In A Bubble
When you are living in a time where people like Trump can be a president nominee and you say you have nothing to write about I will assume that you have been living under a rock your whole life. How is it that we do not get excited when we have a political time bomb on our hands?
How is it that nothing excites us anymore? Have we become that numb? We live in a time when presidential nominees are clowns, where obesity is called a disease. We have things like zika virus, ebola and we have people who claims vaccination causes autism. We have measles as well now! A plague that was not existing since god knows when. That is back now. And you have nothing to write? Are you serious? Are you sure it isn't because you are lazy to think about things and writing about it?
Have we become to used to hearing about mass shooting and killings, that we yawn when a breaking news like that comes a long? If we have, then I seriously have another article to write about right now.
Let's not even forget about the fact that the Senate in the US voted against four gun bills yesterday? How in God's green earth do you not have anything to write about?
The world is in a constant chaos and ever changing. And you have nothing to write about? Which bubble do you live in? Are you a hermit? Impossible. If you are, you would not be reading this.
Not going to write about politics and world affairs? that is ok. Write about your life then. Write about your experience. Surely you have had special unforgettable moments at least once in your life. Surely you have gone through some problems or some hard times.
Some people I find hesitate to write about their special moment or their hard times thinking that it is just too small. Nothing is too small or too big. If that small thing can qualifies as a special moment in your book then it is a special moment. Never compare it with someone else's. Same goes for your hard times. You live in a first world country then go ahead and write about your first world problems. your internet connection one day when from 1000 Mbps to 995 Mbps and it ruined your life, go ahead write it down. You are your own best judge. Go dig your memory.
An interesting thing to do would be to browse some old pictures you have of yours and your family and friends. Talk about that, does that photo bring up some memories?
How is it that when I want to write I get a writer's block but when I start to close my eyes and practice meditation trying to quiet the mind, I all of a sudden get an influx of crazy ideas and all the things I never think about start coming up to the surface? I guess being calm help writer's block too.
So when you get writer's block try closing your eyes and meditate, just concentrate on breathing, pay attention to it. Eventually your mind will start to run here and there, take notice what it ran to (which is what you are supposed to be doing when you are meditating anyway) and that could be the subject you can write about.
In conclusion, there are many simple ways one can curtail this small problem. When you get writer's block you need to open up yourself to new ideas, new possibilities and most importantly the present moment.
Once we can do that, words will flow and you will soon enough be able to find your "voice" and how you want to express your thoughts. There is no need to panic as that will just make it worse and then you will have to Google and read articles like this one. I wish you all good luck on you writing endeavors.
The More You Give, The More You Get
As a Hubber, the one important thing we need to do is read. Read, Read and read. As a Hubber I writer probably one to two articles a week. Most of the time I spend on Hubpages are spent on the Feed section, where I get to browse new hubs, discussions, Q and A written by other hubbers.
It is something like Karma. The more you give the more you get. Give other writers your undivided attention to their articles, read it, understand it, if possible take part in it. These activities may do little for the articles you have published, but they do wonders to get the juices going.
Many times I find inspiration and ideas from reading other articles here. Perhaps a section of an article that I am interested in, I might expand it and write a hub on it. The more you read the more you will write. There is no way around this one.
These are just few ways which I have found helped me when I get a writer's block. I am sure many writers who are more experienced than me can give better ideas or explain my method more thoroughly.
If you have any different and interesting ideas that I have not mentioned please go ahead and share in the comment section. Thank you.